My website posses a search engine linking to for example www.example.com/s/gaming/ where gaming is the words being searched. I also have pages for each of my categories, for example "Gaming".

My problem is that the page www.example.com/s/gaming/ is ranking higher than www.example.com/category/gaming/ and I am trying to fix this.

So far, I was thinking of adding internal links to my category site for each of my related articles to boost their "importance", however I am not quite sure this will be enough. Anyone knows a few tips to get this done?

  • 1
    You should never allow site search results to be crawled by a search engine. There is a penalty for that. You should make all search result pages noindex.
    – closetnoc
    Nov 8, 2015 at 2:35
  • You should be ranking pages and not site search results. It is just a matter of time before Google figures it out and your site will drop in the SERPs anyway.
    – closetnoc
    Nov 8, 2015 at 2:45
  • I understand your point, however, if I simply make the search result pages noindex as you say, won't it be hurting my traffic quite a bit considering that right now they are coming this way ? Isn't there some kind of way to make the process less harmful to my traffic overall ?
    – Dacramash
    Nov 8, 2015 at 2:46
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    This is where you have to make your web pages work. This is what needs to rank on your site- content. It will be a matter of dropping the search result pages and allowing your other pages to rank higher. Right now, the search result pages are standing in the way. It takes time or course. Search engines are notoriously slow.
    – closetnoc
    Nov 8, 2015 at 3:03

1 Answer 1


Google states in the webmaster guidelines that search results pages should not be indexed and should be blocked from indexing as they do not contain any valuable content on their own and are in effect duplicating content from other pages and simply embedding a large number of pages content into a single page. All search result pages should be listed as NOINDEX or have a robots.txt directive added to prevent indexing of all domain.com/s/* addresses which would block all search result pages regardless of how they are generated or what search terms are used. Either way will achieve the same result.

Now as for your comment regarding the reduction in SERP ranking due to the removal of your search results pages from the index all that can be said is that by removing the results pages your SERP ranking will be a more accurate reflection of what your correct SERP ranking is at the time with the site content as is. An accurate starting point with regards to your SERP ranking is important when trying to increase the quality of the content on your site as if the SERP ranking has been artificially inflated through banned methods such as the results pages not only does it make it more difficult for you to improve the quality of the site, but should the results page be detected by Google not only would it be removed from the index itself but you may find the whole site penalised with a manual action flag which will reduce your overall PageRank more than the reduction from de-indexing the results pages yourself and in the end the notice you receive from Google in the webmaster tools would say words to the effect of you needing to add NOINDEX to the results page or block the results page with a robots.txt directive before they remove the manual action flag anyway.


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